“Good Evening ladies and gentlemen. I must say, it’s a real pleasure to welcome you here to this ill-lit kipper depot this evening”.
“AN AUDIENCE THAT NEVER WAS…WITH LES DAWSON”
Les Dawson, who died from a heart attack in June 1993, when Charlotte was just eight months old, was one of our country’s best loved comedians. No stranger to tragedy and ill health himeslf, he lost his first wife, Meg to cancer after a long and painful illness.
How difficult it must have been to go on stage and perform without a hint of his personal worries, even though the audiences loved him.
Folowing Meg’s death, it must have seemed difficult to continue, but fate played it’s hand, and he found a friendship with Charlottes mum, Tracy that blossomed into romance and marriage.
“Marriage: The only union without a shop steward”
Their union was blessed with a daughter Charlotte who is growing up just like her dad – a natural entertainer. Les will be remembered for the skillful way he could play a piano – so far off key that whilst you recognised what the tune was – you struggled to remember the “proper” version it, and for his deadpan humour in the style of Rochdale’s Norman Evans, who he so admired.
He often performed at Blackpool which was near to his home in Lytham St Annes, and a favourite opening line was:
“May I say what a thrill it is to be here in Blackpool again – which, as you all know, is Morecambe with “O” levels.”
Sometimes he would add to the humour with local anecdotes like:
“As you might know, I live in Lytham St Annes where its so posh that when we eat cod and chips we wear a yachting cap”
He will also be remembered for his famous sketches with Roy Barraclough where they took the part of two old women, sans-teeth, but with the world to put to rights. “Cissy” and “Ada” would entertain audiences not just in the UK but around the globe with quips like.
CISSIE: “Leonard took some lovely photos… He’s got a big polaroid” ADA: “Ooh they can be painful – does it affect his balance.”
But the final word must go to Les himself, who, in his book “No Tears For The Clown” adds a final paragraph to his closing. “Tracy and I have known unhappiness, and our love has been forged in adversity and condemnation, but we have emerged from it all with a love so strong it could be likened to steel; now we look forward to the embodiment of that love…
They say the age of miracles is past, but on Saturday 3 October 1992 at 2.35pm in the delivery room at St Mary’s Maternity Hospital in Manchester I saw such a miracle when I witnessed the slightly premature birth of our daughter, Charlotte Emily Lesley, who struggled into the world a tiny 5lb 6 oz to enrich the lives of us both. By doing so she has welded a ring of happiness that will encircle our destiny until the end of time. She arrived fourteen days ahead of schedule and thus gave us an extra fortnight of joy. This clown will cry no more.”
Charlotte is so proud to call her ‘daddy’ Les Dawson, a comic legend. She always says how lucky she is to be able to watch him and hear his voice on You Tube, Television, Radio, Home videos with Charlotte as a baby, and there is so many photos. She has learned to know who her dad is, she visits his statue every day and has a good old chat with him! Charlotte hopes to keep her father Les Dawson’s legacy going forever.